I’ve seen a few posts out there about how to start a blog in 20 minutes! And yes, you can get your blog set up in 20 minutes. But, if you want to know how to start a successful blog right off the bat, it’s going to take a little more than that.
If you started off in my post What To Do Before You Start A Blog, you’ll know there’s a little bit of research that you should do ahead of time. It’s not about the technical things. It’s more to get an idea of what is working for others, and what your blog should look like.
When I started my first blog, A Chick And Her Garden, I did it in 20 minutes. Guess how many page views I had in the first month. About 20.
When I launched Blogging Over Breakfast, I had 100 page views in 24 hours! A lot of that is because I followed the steps I’m going to show you today.
The first step in how to start a successful blog, is to start with a quality hosting provider. I can’t express enough, how much I love SiteGround! They provide the best speed and security for your site, and their customer service is amazing!
Their live chat is available 24/7 and is pretty much instant. They made the start up of this site so easy and the transition of A Chick And Her Garden go so smoothly!
Once you decide on a hosting provider, they’ll ask you to choose a domain name. That is your www.name-here.com. Then you’ll choose a plan.
For the new blogger, you’ll just want the smallest package to start out and can upgrade as soon as you need to. With SiteGround that package is only $3.95 a month!
After you’re done purchasing your domain and hosting package they will ask you to choose a CMS or content management system. Examples are WordPress or Joomla.
You want to install WordPress! WordPress widely used and easy to work with. Not to mention all of the tools that are specific to WordPress.
Here’s where we get past the 20 minute setup and learn how to start a successful blog.
There are plenty of free themes available for the layout of your blog. But, I highly recommend purchasing a theme right away.
I’ve purchased both themes for A Chick And Her Garden and Blogging Over Breakfast on Etsy and couldn’t be happier. Not only do they look more professional, their speed is so much faster.
Also, if you go with a free theme to start and want to switch later (which you will want to) it can be a huge pain. It took me seven hours to switch A Chick And Her Garden over!
When looking for your theme you’ll want it to include what’s called the Genesis Framework and you’ll want it to be WooCommerce compatible. That way you can have a shop for either physical products or digital. That way it’s there if you need it in the future.
OK, now I know it can be super exciting to have that pretty new theme ready to install! But restrain yourself! I promise it will make your life a lot easier if you wait!
Before you do, go and set up a few key social media accounts. I would start with Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can add more later as you figure out what you like and want to work with.
If you’ve looked at other blogs, including this one, you’ll notice “Follow Me” buttons on the top, side and bottom of the page. When you install your theme there will be multiple places that ask for links to these accounts and it’s nice to already have them set up and ready to add.
Whew! That’s quite a bit! But now that you’ve got all of that done, it’s time to install your theme. Once you purchase it (if you did so from a shop on Etsy with the requirements I gave above) you should have gotten a few files.
One will be your theme and another will be instructions for installing your theme. From there, those instructions will get you all set up! I’ve lucked out and both developers I’ve purchased from have been so helpful! If I had any questions they were quick to respond and they were always helpful! So look for great reviews!
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Once your blog is set up with all of the tips above, make sure to read my post How to Write a Blog Post so you’re set to impress Google and your future ad company! Not to mention your readers!